Conservatorship is an important aspect of child custody that is often overlooked or forgotten by parents. When navigating split custody of a child or children, many parents focus on visitation and child support. Their immediate concern is often what they will pay or receive in child support and how visitation will be determined and scheduled.

While visitation and child support are important aspects of child custody, conservatorship plays an enormous role in the long-term health and well being of a child. Simply put, conservatorship determines who is making decisions on behalf of a child or children. Sometimes, as in the widely publicized case of Brittany Spears, a conservatorship designates guardianship over an adult who is deemed incapable of making important decisions or caring for themselves.

The most common decisions made by a conservator on behalf of a child are regarding invasive medical treatment, psychological treatment, and education. Often, both parents are named joint managing conservators and work together to make decisions in the best interest of their child or children. However, some judges and courts rule that these decisions can be made independently of each other.

For example, in some conservatorship orders, one parent is granted the exclusive right to decide where the child lives, while in others, neither parent has this exclusive right but the child’s residence is limited to a certain geographic area.

Ideally, co-parents are able to work together to determine the best decisions for their children regarding issues like health care and education. However, it is sometimes necessary to speak with an attorney about options so that decision power is divided in a way that is agreeable to both parties.

At Sandoval Law Firm we understand the stress of dealing with divorce, child custody and domestic violence. Our firm consists of founding attorney Raul Sandoval Jr. and a dedicated support staff. Mr. Sandoval earned his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law. Since that time, he has been practicing family law in the Austin area, as well as teaching seminars, classes and other forms of professional development.